Did your CEO ever tell you that it is difficult to understand the high level status of your project? Did you ever need to map a lot of dependencies within a project? Did you ever look for a way to share a visual project overview with people outside of your company? In this article you will learn how you can do all of this and much more with Asana’s Timeline view or Instagantt, the most popular add-on for Asana.
What are gantt charts?
A gantt chart is a type of bar chart that illustrates a project schedule. You can imagine every task as a bar. The longer the bar, the more time and work it will consume. Modern gantt charts also show the dependency relationships between activities and current schedule status.
You see an example screenshot below.
Asana’s Timeline view vs. Instagantt
There are two main options to display your Asana project as a gantt chart. The first option is Asana’s built in Timeline View. Timeline launched in March 2018 after several months of beta. The advantage is definitely, that it is built in and a user does not has to connect a third party tool. On the other hand, it has only basic features and lacks export functionality yet. But be sure, that Asana is already working on improving the product with all the provided user feedback.
The second option is Instagantt. It has started several years ago and is the most popular add-on by now. Consequently, the tool is really powerful and has all needed features like exporting and creating dependencies via drag and drop. Moreover it syncs two ways to Asana.
My recommendation: If you are just interested in having a basic gantt chart overview, then Asana’s Timeline view is totally enough. However, if you are already an advanced Asana user and you do not mind to connect a third party application, definitely use Instagantt.
What are the benefits of using Instagantt together with Asana?
There are many benefits. First of all, these are the benefits for improved project management.
Improved project management:
- Highly visual illustration of your work
- Easy and intuitive mapping of dependencies
- Communicate your project to top management how they are used to look at projects
- Analyse the critical path in your project with the press of a button
- Analyse the workload for different team members
- Work with milestones
- Syncs two way with Asana, change something in Instagantt and have it seconds later in Asana
On the other hand, you have also some benefits when you work with people outside of your company.
Easy sharing with people outside your company:
- You can specify what these people see and what not
- Share just a link to a website where people can scroll and zoom like they want
- Decide if the link contains always the most up to date status of your project or just a specific status
- Use filter for different audiences, so that they only see what they should, while using the same data set
How to connect Instagantt to Asana?
- Go to the Instagantt website and sign up for a free account
- You will be asked to allow access to your Asana account
- Follow the onboarding screens at the Instagantt website
- Connect a project
What do we need to pay attention for?
Since Instagantt is a plugin/add-on for Asana it is a separate website in your browser. This will be difficult to understand for some of your colleagues. Moreover, it is a separate company from Asana, so if you wish to use some of the premium features you need to pay for it. There is a free version where you can use up to 3 projects. If you want to use more you have to pay $5/month in the premium version.
- Use gantt charts in general to create highly visual graphical presentation of your project
- Instagantt is much more powerful than Asana’s Timeline feature and should be used when you have some Asana experience
- Instagantt allows you to share selected information with external stakeholders
Another very popular plugin for Asana is the integration with Slack. Read more about it here.
How do you use Instagantt and Asana together? Or if you have any comments, please post them below. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to write us an email to email@example.com